Pediatric Dentists And Parents: Who Has Which Job?

Posted on: 11 August 2022

Raising children takes a team, and that team includes doctors and teachers in addition to the parents. For daily tasks like brushing and flossing one's teeth, learning how to do the task properly and to do it consistently is crucial for better oral health later in life. But sometimes there can be some confusion on the part of new parents as they may not realize that there are things they have to do that the dentist can't do. Both the parents and the dentist want the child to learn to brush their teeth and protect their teeth, but just how the parents and the dentist approach this will vary. Each has a specific job to do to ensure the child's teeth turn out OK. 

Teaching Children to Brush Their Teeth

Parents need to take the lead and teach their children how to brush their teeth and how to floss. The parents are the ones who have to make sure the child does this daily and doesn't skip steps, and to some extent, the parents are the ones who have to correct the child's technique.

However, the dentist can have the child brush and floss at the dental office and give the child pointers on improving what they're doing. For example, maybe the child isn't reaching a certain point on the gums, and the dentist can see some irritation that the parents can't. The dentist can help the child refine their technique, but for basic oral care, the parents really need to take the lead.

Determining How to Protect the Child's Teeth

Protecting the child's teeth does involve brushing and flossing, but those aren't the only things they have to do to ensure their teeth stay healthy. There are food choices to make, both in terms of what the child can and can't eat, and physical safety concerns, such as protecting the child's teeth if the child plays a sport. For example, the parents may decide that the child needs some sort of mouthguard for the sport they're playing.

The dentist comes in for the details. The dentist can evaluate the child's mouth and choose the type of mouthguard that would be best, and then teach the child how to wear it during the sport. The parents would then take over and make sure the child actually uses the mouthguard.

Each facet of teaching your child good oral health care has different aspects that the parents and dentist handle. Over the years, this team care results in the child having great oral health and healthy teeth.

Contact a local pediatric dental office to learn more.